Stuffed Mushrooms

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Looking for a job is hard… Therefore my time to cook and, specially, write about it has been limited…

Here is a recipe I cooked some weeks ago for the first time and will be repeating today! It is great as a starter or as a main dish if served with some rice.

 

Stuffed Mushrooms (serves 4)

  • 4 large flat mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove
  • fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 125 g of cream cheese
  • 75 g of grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC.
  2. Wash the mushrooms well. Remove the steam of the mushroom and chop them into pieces. With a spoon, remove the interior of the mushroom, including the black part, and reserve. Save the mushrooms’ hats for later.IMG_5180
  3. Slice the garlic thinly. In a frying pan cook the garlic with the olive oil and the rosemary leaves until the garlic gets golden. Add the interior of the mushrooms and let it cook until the mushrooms are soft and cooked.
  4. Add the cream cheese and 4 tbsp of grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well until the cheese melts and turn off the fire.
  5. Place the mushroom hats, with the opening facing up, on an oven tray. Fill the mushrooms hats with     the cooked mixture. Top them with the remaining grated cheese and season with pepper.IMG_5201
  6. Cook in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and the mushrooms wrinkle. Note that the mushrooms will release some water and, therefore, you will get a liquid on the bottom of the tray.IMG_5202

Carrot Spice Cake

IMG_4342Some weeks ago we went to Borough Market and had this amazing Carrot Spice Cake with coconut. Decided to give it a go and, last weekend, baked my own! It wasn’t exactly as the one from the market but it was really good and moist inside.

I baked a cake with some cream cheese frosting and some plain cupcakes. Both were delicious! The recipe under is solely for one cake.

Carrot Spice Cake

  • 150 g of flour
  • 1 tea spoon of baking powder
  • 3/4 tea spoon of baking soda
  • 1 tea spoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tea spoon of ground nutmeg
  • 225 g of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 275 g of carrots
  • 1/3 tin of crushed pineapple (total used: 144 g net)
  • 100 g of chopped walnuts (reserve some to decorate)
  • 40 g of flaked coconut
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 170ºC.
  2. In a bowl mix the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda, the cinnamon and the nutmeg.
  3. In a large bowl mix the sugar with the eggs and the oil. Add the flour mix, stirring well.
  4. Peel the carrots and grate them thinly. Add it to the batter.IMG_4226
  5. Add the pineapple, the walnuts and the coconut and mix well.IMG_4235
  6. Grease a cake tin (20 cm / 8”) with butter and sprinkle with flour. Pour the cake dough into the tin and cook in the oven for approximately 35 minutes. Note that the cake will be quite moist inside and will gain some additional consistency after cooling down. IMG_4238
  7. Serve simple or with some cream cheese frosting (recipe under).

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 9 tbsp of cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp of butter at room temperature
  • 12 tbsp of icing sugar
  • 1 tea spoon of vanilla essence
  • crushed walnut and flaked coconut to decorate
  1. In a bowl mix the cream cheese, the butter, the sugar and the vanilla. Whisk well until you get a smooth and glowing frosting.
  2. When the cake has completely cooled down, using a spatula, cover the top of the cake with the frosting. You can be creative here!
  3. Sprinkle the frosting with some crushed walnuts and flaked coconut.

Sunday Roast

IMG_4132Every time I’m in a new country I try to adjust to their habits in order to properly experience the country. Being food a big part of a country’s identity, and something I love, I usually start there!

In the UK there are a couple of things I became addicted to: English breakfast, scones with clotted cream and jam, and Sunday roast!

Last Sunday I decided to give it a go on a beef Sunday roast. Typically I’m not a big fan of gravy because it tends to cover the whole food and just “hide” the different flavours. So, I decided to do a mild gravy, almost fat free, with white wine and kale stock. It was really good!

Sunday Roast (serves 6)

Roasted Beef:

  • 1350 g of boned joint beef with a limited amount of fat
  • 2 big carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch of fresh rosemary
  • 6-10 tbsp of olive oil
  • fresh sage, salt and pepper

Gravy:

  • juices from roasting the meat
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 100 ml of white wine
  • 1 l of stock from boiling the kale

Vegetables:

  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 swede
  • 1/2 butternut squash
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • fresh thyme, rosemary and sage
  • salt and pepper
  • kale

Extra:

  • 6  Yorkshire puddings (I used frozen ones that you cook on the oven for some minutes before serving)
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 240ºC.
  2. Start by preparing the Roasted Beef.
  3. Peel the carrots and the onions. Slice the carrots in thick slices and cut the onions in halves and then each half in 6 pieces.
  4. Place the carrots and the onions on a large oven tray. Season with the washed thyme, rosemary and sage. Add the garlic cloves unpeeled and slightly smashed. Sprinkle with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Place the piece of beef on a chopping board and, using your hands, cover it with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place it on top of the vegetables.IMG_4092
  6. Reduce the oven heat to 200ºC. Place the oven tray with the carrots, onions and meat on the oven and let it cook between 50 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. The time of cooking will depend on how well done you want the meat and on your oven potency. I cooked mine for approximately 50 minutes in order to get it quite raw.
  7. You should baste the meat halfway the cooking and, in case the vegetables get too dry, add a bit of water.
  8. When the meat is in the oven start preparing the vegetables.
  9. Wash the potatoes and peel the suede, the butternut squash and the onion. Cut the vegetables in big pieces and wash them thoroughly.
  10. Place the vegetables in an oven tray. Season with some fresh thyme, rosemary and sage, salt and pepper. Add the 3 unpeeled and smashed garlic cloves, the olive oil and a splash of water.
  11. Cook the vegetables in the oven for approximately 35-45 minutes. Initially, this will cook at the same time as the meat. You can simply place the vegetables in the oven bottom.
  12.  When the meat is cooked, remove the tray from the oven and place the piece of meat on a chopping board. Let it rest for 15 minutes. After this time, cover it with some metal foil and a cloth to keep the temperature.IMG_4106
  13. After removing the meat to the chopping board, put a big pan on the hob and cook the washed kale on boiling salted water until the kale is tender.
  14. While the meat rests and the vegetables cook, start working on the gravy. Remove the carrots and the onions from the oven tray. Keep them in a warm place to be served with the roast.
  15. Keep around 5 slices of carrot on the tray. Place the tray on top of the hob on low fire. Mash the carrots and add the flour to this mixture. Add the wine and stir well. Then, add the stock and let it cook until it boils for a couple of minutes. IMG_4113
  16. Pour the mixture into a pan, making sure you scrap any remaining cooking juices from the tray, and add any other juices that the meat might have released while resting. Let it cook until the gravy gets the wanted consistency. Sieve the gravy into a bowl.
  17. By now, the meat will be cooked, rested and kept under the foil and the cloth; the carrots and onions will be ready to serve; the vegetables will be roasted and resting; the kale will be cooked; and the gravy finished. IMG_4111
  18. In case any of the ingredients is a bit cold just put it in the oven to heat for some minutes, while you cook or heat the Yorkshire puddings.
  19. Slice the meat thinly and serve the Sunday roast on the plates by placing 2 or 3 slices of meat in each plate, 1 Yorkshire pudding, roasted vegetables, carrots and kale. Pour the gravy on top.

Pancakes

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I love Saturday mornings and long breakfasts. This week I decided to go with a sweet breakfast and cook some pancakes!

Besides my traditional pancakes, I also decided to try and cook some American style pancakes with blueberries. Quite nice but I still prefer the thinner ones with a nice topping. Here are both recipes.

 

Pancakes (serves 4)

  • 250 g of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 dl of milk
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 70 g of butter
  • butter
  1. In a bowl mix the flour, the eggs, the milk and the sugar.
  2. Melt the butter and add it to the mixture.
  3. If needed, use a food processor to make sure the dough is smooth.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying pan and reduce the fire to low. Grease the frying pan with some butter.
  5. Pour a small portion of dough on the frying pan until you reach the pancake size you want. I usually make two at the same time.
  6. Let the pancake cook until you star seeing small holes n top of the pancake. Turn the pancake and let it cook on the other side. When both sides are golden the pancake is ready to serve. IMG_4022
  7. Repeat until you run out of dough.
  8. Serve with cream, strawberries, banana, chocolate, icing sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, golden syrup, or any other ingredients you may like.IMG_4027

 

Blueberry American Pancakes (serves 4)

  • 3 eggs
  • 120 g of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 150 g of milk
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 100 g of blueberries (or raspberries)
  • butter
  • icing sugar
  1. In a bowl mix the egg yolks, the flour, the baking powder, the milk and the 2 tbsp of sugar. Mix well and, if needed, use a food processor to make sure the dough is smooth.
  2. In another bowl whisk the egg whites until they get thick and don’t fall from the bowl when you turn it.
  3. Mix the egg whites in the remaining dough.
  4. Add the blueberries.
  5. Heat a non-stick frying pan and reduce the fire to low. Grease the frying pan with some butter.
  6. Pour a small portion of dough on the frying pan until you reach the pancake size you want. I made one big pancake each time. IMG_4036
  7. Let the pancake cook until you star seeing small holes on top of the pancake. Turn the pancake and let it cook on the other side. When both sides are golden the pancake is ready to serve.
  8. Repeat until you run out of dough.
  9. Serve sprinkled with icing sugar.IMG_4049

Portuguese Meat Croquettes

IMG_3998In Portugal we have a vast range of fried snacks that you will find in every supermarket or coffee shop (rissóis, croquettes, fish cakes).

When I moved to London, our first guest was a Portuguese old friend that brought us an assortment of these delicious snacks from a Portuguese shop near his place in London. I didn’t realise I missed it so much…

After that, I decided to try to cook some by myself. Today’s recipe is for Portuguese Croquettes. I cooked them with pork but they typically included beef too.

 

Portuguese Meat Croquettes (20 to 30 units)   

  • 350 g of pork minced meat
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 60 g of chorizo
  • 1 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 60 g of butter
  • 200 ml of milk
  • 1 small onion
  • 80 g of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg and dry thyme
  • 2 eggs
  • bread crumbs
  • vegetable oil
  1. In a food processor, chop the garlic and the chorizo. Cook it with two tbsp of butter in a non-stick frying pan.IMG_3938
  2. When the mixture has cooked for 1-2 minutes add the meat. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Stir occasionally and let it cook until the meat is duly fried.
  3. Take out of the fire and chop this mixture in the food processor. Add the chopped parsley and let it rest.IMG_3942
  4. Chop the onion thinly. In a pan, cook the onion with the remaining butter in low fire.
  5. When the onion is golden and soft add the flour and mix well. Slowly add the milk, while steering, making sure that the flour dissolves and creating a thick sauce. Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice.
  6. Add the meat and mix well until the mixture separates easily from the pan.
  7. Turn the fire off and let it rest until the mixture is at room temperature.
  8. Using approximately one tbsp of dough, shape the dough into one small cylindrical form. Place on the croquette on a large tray or plate previously sprinkled with flour. Repeat until you finish the dough. Depending on the size of your croquettes you should get between 20 and 30 units.IMG_3953
  9. Get two small bowls and mix the eggs in one and place a good quantity of bread crumbs in the other. One by one, cover the croquettes first with eggs and after with bread crumbs, by dipping them first in the eggs and then in the bread crumbs.IMG_3989
  10. Fry them in hot vegetable oil or freeze them before frying for future use. You will be able to fry them directly from the freezer.

Orange Rolling Cake

IMG_4004This is an old recipe from my mum that has gain a special meaning for me since I used it on the first phase of a cooking contest I entered last year. It got me a second place on that round!

It’s a lovely recipe, really easy and inexpensive. The only tricky part is to roll the cake… but even if you fail to do it it will still taste great!

 

Orange Rolling Cake

  • 350 g of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 1 orange zest
  • 2 oranges juice
  • 8 eggs
  • 80 g of butter
  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC.
  2. In a bowl mix the sugar with the flour, the orange zest and juice. Add the eggs and mix well.
  3. Melt the butter and add it to the previous dough. You will get a very liquid dough.IMG_3966
  4. Grease a 35 x 24 cm oven tray with butter and cover with baking paper. You may use a slightly different size tray as long as the dough fills the tray and is approximately 1 cm high.
  5. Grease the baking paper with butter. Pour the dough on the tray and cook for approximately 20 minutes.
  6. Place a clean cloth on top a plain surface and sprinkle it with sugar (granulated or icing sugar).
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and remove it from the tray onto the cloth, being careful in order not to break the cake.
  8. Using the cloth, roll the dough in order to get a cylindrical cake. You should grab the cloth on the smaller side of the rectangular dough and gently start rolling the dough on itself by simply pushing the cloth on the direction of the other end of the cake. IMG_3977
  9. In the end you will have the rolling cake inside the cloth and you should gently place it on a serving tray or plate.   IMG_3981

My own “Burritos”

IMG_3899I’m finally settled in London and actively looking for a job in the financial sector… Hence my cooking has been relayed to second place…

However, my new kitchen is really cool and modern so I believe I will be playing with it a lot.

Decided to start with a recipe I used to make after a night out. Red beans and meat, wrapped in a tortilla and covered with grated cheese! I know some people who will argue that this recipe is not truly a burritos’ recipe (yes… you know who you are…) but I usually call it that to simplify. Whatever you may call it, it is  really filling and good!

Bean and Meat Burritos (serves 2)

  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes
  • 8 tbsp of tomato passata
  • 200 g of pork minced meat
  • 1 small can of red kidney beans (240 g net)
  • 2 plain tortilla wraps
  • salt, pepper and chilli powder
  • 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
  1. Chop the onion and the garlic thinly and cook, in low fire, with the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  2. Wash the tomatoes and chop them. When the onion and garlic are soft, add the tomatoes and cook in low fire until the tomatoes smash under pressure of a spoon.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and chilli powder. You can also use real sliced chillies in case you want a hotter burrito.
  4. Add the tomato passata and the minced meat. Let it cook for approximately 5 minutes. If the sauce dries too much, add some more tomato passata.
  5. Open the beans’ tin and drain the water. Add the beans to the meat and cook for approximately 15-20 minutes, until the beans are getting soft. Correct the seasoning if needed with salt, pepper and chilli powder.IMG_3878
  6. Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC.
  7. Place each tortilla in a plain and clean surface and pour half the beans and meat mixture in the centre of each tortilla. Save four  tbsp of this mixture to decorate the burritos.
  8. Cover the beans and meat mixture with grated cheese, saving some cheese to decorate the burritos. IMG_3886
  9. Close the burritos by folding first one side to the centre, and than the other. Finally, close the ends of the burrito by folding the edges. You will get a rectangular shaped burrito.IMG_3888
  10. Place the two burritos in an oven tray. Top each burrito with some grated cheese, two tbsp of the beans and meat mixture, and some more grated cheese.IMG_3890
  11. Place in the oven and cook until the cheese is completely melted and the tortilla gets crunchier.
  12. Serve with a good and fresh salad.